Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Competing for James Randi's million dollar prize

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I've made some ill-considered sports bets in the past, but I've always had more chance of winning than those brave psychics who step forward to try and claim James Randi's famous million dollar prize, available to anyone who can prove, under agreed, controlled scientific conditions, the validity of their paranormal "abilities".

I mention this because I've just been reading this piece by Chris French, head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths College, who was last week involved in carrying out preliminary testing on the TV psychic Patricia Putt, who has recently come forward to try and claim the million dollar prize. French has been involved in such tests relating to the Randi prize in the past, and in the Guardian piece he describes the processes involved in testing Putt's psychic "powers". It's all very odd, but also very fair – I'm sure you wont be surprised to learn she failed the test.